Intel may buy Alpha from Digital

Digital Equipment stock was riding high today, fueled by rumors that the company was negotiated to sell its high-speed, 64-bit Alpha line of microprocessors to Intel. Some analysts doubt such a deal would happen, however, as Intel is already under anti-trust investigation by the FTC.

The Wall Street Journal started the talk with a story Monday describing high-level discussions between the two companies that would culminate in Intel spending $1.5 billion to purchase the Alpha technologies. According to the story, the deal would be part of a settlement in a suit brought by Digital against Intel, in which Digital claims Intel stole technology for its upcoming Merced chip.

Alpha systems and sales represent about $4.6 billion per year to Digital, though it has made only a small dent in the computer industry

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